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Medvedev vision grips Russian press

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev
Mr Medvedev described a hi-tech Russia shaking off the Soviet past

The economic modernisation plans outlined by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev prompt the Russian press to examine how his views differ from those of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Opinion is divided as to whether Mr Medvedev's annual state of the nation address on Thursday heralded a far-reaching shake-up of the Russian economy or just cosmetic reform.

ANDREY KOMPANEYETS IN TRUD

The modernisation of the country has become the president's main goal ... Judging by the grand plans that Medvedev has announced, a grandiose rebuilding of the whole economy, comparable to the industrialisation of the 1920s and 1930s, is to take place.

ELINA BILEVSKEYA IN NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA

Medvedev outlined a programme for the country's strategic development for decades to come ... He criticised the structure of the Russian economy during Vladimir Putin's era ... By the look on his face, [Putin] was not particularly happy to hear Medvedev's words ... but Medvedev was in no way perturbed by the prime minister's expression.

MIKHAIL ROSTOVSKIY IN MOSKOVSKIY KOMSOMOLETS

The central thrust of Medvedev's address was the idea of a new economic leap forward while preserving the status quo in politics ... the following passage is key: "Any attempts to rock the situation with democratic slogans, to destabilise the state and split society, will be stopped" ... Medvedev has responded to those who expect a breakthrough into a post-Putin democratic reality ... the ruling couple are happy with the current Russian political system.

DMITRY BUTRIN IN KOMMERSANT

Medvedev's ideas about [the economy] are surprisingly close to those of US President Barack Obama ... Medvedev sees "modernisation" as being both technological and social ... his description of "the next stage in the development of civilisation" was startlingly similar to phrases used by Obama in several speeches at the start of his presidency.

EDITORIAL IN VEDOMOSTI

The plans for modernisation outlined in the president's address do not match his own conclusions about the state of the country's economy ... His diagnosis is very harsh, but the treatment he has suggested is local and homeopathic ... The measures proposed are inadequate to deal with the problems the country is facing ... but this is all the president can do at present.

VERA SITNINA AND ANDREY DENISOV IN VREMYA NOVOSTEY

The innovative proposal to reduce the number of time zones across Russia ... was the most revolutionary idea contained in the presidential address ... Medvedev proposed a number of changes in the political sphere as well, but they can't compare to last year's initiative on extending the presidential and parliamentary terms of office.

BBC Monitoringselects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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